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Humber Bridge marathon trek by Alfie Olivers’s dad
9:38am Saturday 18th August 2012 in News
THE father of a young York boy who died after a battle with serious heart and lung problems has paid tribute to his “caring, considerate and sweet child.”
Clifton toddler Alfie Oliver died last month, only two weeks before his fourth birthday. Now his father, Rob, is hoping to raise money for the children’s hospice where Alfie was cared for in his final days, by talking part in a gruelling 12-hour marathon on the Humber Bridge tonight.
Mr Oliver, 31, said: “The last six months were particularly bad for Alfie and we were at Martin House Hospice a lot.
“But he far outlived any prognosis at the beginning of all this and he continually came back from the brink. We tried to live as normal a life as we could.
“He started Hob Moor Oaks Nursery, and that’s something the doctors warned against. Tracey (Alfie’s mother) spent a lot of time with him, showing the staff how to care for him and he came on in leaps and bounds.
“We will remember his cheesy grin and his expressions and his determination. He used to make us laugh. He was a caring, considerate and sweet child.”
He said: “He seemed like he had a wise head and sometimes seemed like he had been here before. I think he knew what was happening and when he passed away he went so quickly.
“It was almost like he put his hands up to it and just gave up. I think he knew the time was right.”
Alfie was born with a rare condition known as transposition of the great arteries, which meant the position of his aorta and pulmonary artery were reversed.
He underwent gruelling surgery only days after he was born and spent the rest of his short life on a daily drug regime while paying regular visits to hospital and later Martin House, at Wetherby.
This evening, Mr Oliver will set out on the 12-hour Hell On The Humber “ultra-marathon” to raise funds for the hospice.
He said he originally signed up for the race in January but decided to still go ahead as thank you for the care Alfie received.
“It was originally going to be a night off from looking after Alfie. It was a running joke that I would do laps of the Humber all night and it would have been an easy night, because Alfie never slept.”
Alfie was a joint winner of The Press's Child of the year award in 2009.
To sponsor Rob, go to his Just Giving website page at www.justgiving.com/Alfie-David-Oliver